Class AAAAAA blog: Heritage surges into second place in Region 3

The Heritage-Conyers boys basketball team has surged into a tie for second place in Region 3-AAAAAA on the strength of a four-game winning streak in region play that was highlighted by a 68-65 victory Tuesday over No. 1-ranked Lakeside-Evans.

Heritage (11-10, 5-2) trailed Lakeside by 17 points at halftime but scored 50 second-half points, including a combined 32 from senior guards Josh Guilford and Trelan Scott, to rally for the victory. Guilford finished with 25 points and Scott had 21, according to the Rockdale Citizen. They are the teams’ leading scorers – Guilford at 17.1 per game and Scott at 16.8. Lakeside (19-3, 6-1) remains in first place by one game. 

The victory was Heritage’s second this season against a top-five team in Class AAAAAA (the Patriots beat No. 4 Sprayberry 77-73 on Dec. 29). Now Heritage will get another test against a top-10 team when it travels Friday to No. 10 Evans (19-2, 5-2), the team with which it is tied for second in the region. Evans beat Heritage 63-60 on Jan. 8 as part of a 17-0 start to the season that had propelled the Knights to the No. 1 ranking. Evans has gone 2-2 in the two weeks since. 

Heritage, unranked by the AJC, is No. 22 in Class AAAAAA in the MaxPreps ratings. 

Here are some of the other top games in AAAAAA this weekend. All games listed below will be played Friday: 

Boys 

*Sprayberry at Allatoona: Fourth-ranked Sprayberry (18-3, 12-1) is battling South Cobb for first place in Region 6, and Allatoona could have a big say in which one earns the No. 1 seed in the region tournament. The Buccaneers (15-5, 9-3) currently in fourth place, play both teams down the stretch (they host South Cobb on Tuesday). Allatoona lost to both teams in the first meetings. 

*South Cobb at Pebblebrook: Eighth-ranked South Cobb (15-5) steps away from its Region 6 battle to take on rival Pebblebrook (15-7), the No. 5 team in AAAAAAA. South Cobb has won eight consecutive games since a Dec. 15 loss to Campbell, which is in fifth place in six-team Region 2-AAAAAAA. Pebblebrook, which beat South Cobb 67-59 on Dec. 1, is in second place in that region. 

Girls 

*Forest Park at M.L. King: The talk in Region 4 has centered on No. 1 Lovejoy, No. 2 Forest Park and third-place Stephenson, but M.L. King is quietly putting together a good season. The Lions (12-9, 8-5) have won three of their last four region games and are in fourth place behind the big three. This game will be a tall order for M.L. King, however, which lost to the Panthers 71-19 on Dec. 11. 

*Lanier at Dacula: Victories against No. 9 Dacula (17-5, 5-2) and last-place Habersham Central (3-14, 0-5) this weekend will lock down the No. 1 seed in the Region 8 tournament for seventh-ranked Lanier (18-3, 6-0). The Longhorns beat Dacula 51-42 on Jan. 8 behind 18 points from senior point guard Mekala Fuller. Dacula and Winder-Barrow (14-7, 4-2) are likely battling for the No. 2 seed. 

*Alpharetta at Johns Creek: Third-ranked Northview has clinched first place in Region 7, and the winner of this game will be in sole possession of second. Alpharetta (16-6, 10-3) beat Johns Creek 47-44 when the teams met on Dec. 15 and has the easier schedule in the final week of the regular season. Johns Creek (14-8, 10-3) faces Northview and fifth-place Centennial next week.

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